Deer Hunting

How to age white-tailed deer: Part V

The older age classes, 7 ½ on up, represent the end of the trail for a deer population. The average lifespan for a white-tailed deer is around 5 years; in captivity deer may live up to 14 years. Much depends on the degree of hunting that takes place on the landscape. […]

Deer Hunting

How to age white-tailed deer: Part III

Last month I wrote about the 1 ½-year-old age class, or yearling deer. The key that separates the yearling age class from the 2-year-old age class is the third premolar. Yearling deer have three temporary premolars that begin to break up and are shed when the deer is 17 to 18 months old. […]

The stages of eruption of the third molar in yearling deer is clearly visible in this photo: Jawbone No. 5 shows the replacement of the temporary premolars with the new permanent molars.
Deer Hunting

How to age white-tailed deer: Part II

The key to aging yearling deer — deer that are 1 year old—  is the third premolar. The third premolar is a temporary tooth that has three cusps (or crests.) Both fawns and yearling deer have this temporary three-cusped premolar. […]

Grunts & Gobbles

No turkey hunting in March

Yes, that’s right — for the first time in the lifetime of this author there is no turkey hunting in Louisiana in March. Of course, I grew up hunting in North Louisiana in the 60s and there were no turkeys to hunt in those days. LDWF was trying to restock birds in that area but for various reasons, the restocking effort was not working. […]

Deer Hunting

The season may be over — but memories remain

For the most part, the 2017 deer season is over, although some DMAP cooperators in the Tier 1 classification can still hunt a couple of weeks in February. For Area 1 and 6 hunters, this could still give you time to connect with a deer, and perhaps even that elusive trophy. […]

Deer Hunting

Big Bayou State bucks going down

No doubt the excitement in the deer hunting fraternity soared when news broke on the big non-typical arrowed by Frank Sullivan in October. The buck will easily make the Pope and Young record book, and depending on how the typical frame scores, might surpass the state record for archery-killed non-typicals. […]

Deer Hunting

Louisiana’s deer habitat in decline

The key to a good deer management program is good habitat — plain and simple. The research that has been done measuring the impacts of good deer habitat is crystal clear on the subject: Good habitat provides the nutrition needed for optimal body growth and antler development. […]

Contents

The Rut in 2017

Use the Sportsman 2017 rut prediction to start planning your hunts for this season. It might also help to look at the long range weather forecast and see when the cold fronts are predicted to roll in. […]

Deer Hunting

Deer harvest, number of hunters in decline

Many years ago, in the mid-70s, there was an article in a popular hunting magazine that was titled “The Thundering Herd.” Basically it was about exploding deer numbers in most of the states in the southeast. Following deer restocking and limited bucks-only hunting along with improved habitat conditions, deer populations began to expand and numbers increased dramatically. Hunters had done a good job of protecting does and now their numbers were increasing in most states, including the Bayou State. 

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Deer Hunting

The age factor: Older bucks aren’t necessarily bigger bucks

Harvest data produced by the LDWF DMAP program shows that hunters are killing more adult bucks than yearling (1 ½ year) bucks. Data from the Quality Deer Management Association also shows this is true in most of the southeast. The management concept of let them go and let them grow has caught on in the southeast. Jimmy Ernst, LDWF DMAP Coordinator, says that today’s hunters are looking for bigger bucks. But an older buck is not necessarily a big buck. For the most part any adult buck on good habitat should have a larger rack than the yearling buck with its first rack. If habitat conditions are poor and deer numbers are above carrying capacity the rack of an adult buck may not be the quality that a hunter is hunting for.

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